Australian women are amazing. We are well educated, highly capable and ambitious. Yet, very few of us are reaching the same heights in business as men.
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australian companies have the lowest percentage of women on Boards and in top executive roles compared to other developed countries including the United States, Canada, and South Africa.
While Australian women are more qualified than men, with 50 percent more women graduating from University, their careers do not progress at the same rate.
Something doesn’t add up.
Through the Little Black Dress Group, I am lucky enough to know hundreds of incredible women who have found success in business or are working their way up the corporate ladder.
By breaking through obstacles and taking ownership over their career, many Australian women are defying the odds and reaching new career heights. There are many things women can do to make the climb up the corporate ladder an easier one.
Promote yourself authentically
Promoting yourself is essential to getting your work noticed, getting that job promotion, or taking your business to the next level. However, often women feel uncomfortable with the idea of ‘selling’ themselves. The key is promoting yourself in an authentic and honest way. Unless you put your skills, ideas, and achievements out there, no one will know about them.
Don’t let self-doubt and fear paralyse you
We can be our own worst critics. It can be easy at times to succumb to self-doubt, fear and a lack of confidence. These feelings can be debilitating and can stop you from achieving your dreams or trying something new. It is important to shift your perspective and remind yourself of just how much you have to offer.
Celebrate your achievements
Too frequently I hear women being overly humble, downplaying their achievements or deflecting compliments. Men don’t do this near as often, nor should they. Celebrating your achievements gives you that well-deserved boost of confidence and pride which equips you for the next challenge.
Put your own needs first
Women are used to being responsible for the needs of others. We tend to give too much to others and not enough for ourselves. We need to learn how to recognise and prioritise our own needs. Without putting our own needs first, we end up spending our time enhancing someone else’s prospects or helping build their career, rather than our own.
Ask for what you want
Women are often reluctant to ask for what they want. We may feel like we don’t deserve it, or by asking we are being pushy or overbearing. We need to speak up and believe in ourselves in order to define and chase our dreams. Your voice must be heard.
Seek the right support
Successful women seek support from an extensive network of other women, mentors, and sponsors. These are the people who will help your career grow. Successful women network and create valuable and fruitful relationships. They don’t shy away from asking for help and are happy to support others in return.
By taking control of our lives and careers, we as women can progress up the corporate ladder, break through the glass ceiling and find success.